Buyers Prepare To Pull Over As Busy Highway Services Hub Goes Up For Sale


16
Horace Russell Road

A landmark
services hub that is a popular stop for drivers on one of
New Zealand’s busiest highways has been put up for
sale.

Situated beside State Highway 1 just south of
the Bombay Hills, the service centre at Mercer provides
petrol, refreshments and public toilets for thousands of
motorists on the busy Auckland-Hamilton route.

The
property for sale at 16 Horace Russell Road, Mercer, is
anchored by blue-chip tenants Mobil and McDonalds plus local
gourmet favourite Pokeno Bacon, generating a diversified net
rental income of approximately $535,000 plus GST per
annum.

16
Horace Russell Road
16
Horace Russell Road

The freehold
land and buildings at the Mercer site are now being marketed
for sale by Deadline Private Treaty closing on 3 December
(if not sold prior) through Bayleys Real
Estate.

Salespeople Damian Stephen, Michael Nees, Josh
Smith and Chris Bayley said the commercial buildings for
sale had a total gross floor area of approximately 1,625
square metres on a site of over 2.3 hectares with plenty of
parking.

Fuel giant Mobil pays rent of $342,870 plus
GST per annum for its service station and truck-stop
premises of some 277 square metres. Its current lease
extends through to 2029, with two further 10-year rights of
renewal.

McDonald’s occupies 265 square metres,
paying $100,000 plus turnover rent and GST per annum on a
lease running through to 2022, with a further five-year
right of renewal.

Some 146 square metres is occupied
by Pokeno Bacon, which operates a diner on a lease
generating annual rent of $75,000 plus turnover rent and
GST. Its lease runs through to 2028, with a further
eight-year right of renewal.

Other tenants include an
Esquires Coffee outlet, a pizzeria and fish and chip shop.
Waikato District Council also pays some $16,000 a year to
enable the public to use the centre’s bathrooms.

Mr
Stephen said the Mercer site benefited enormously from its
busy roadside location on the doorstep of the Auckland
region. Sitting just 10 kilometres south of the Bombay
Hills, its services were easily accessed by southbound and
northbound traffic.

“Adding to its popularity is its
status as the last place northbound drivers can fuel up
without having to pay the Auckland regional fuel tax,” he
said.

“This property will be instantly recognisable
to the thousands of motorists who pass each day, many of
whom take the opportunity to pull over for petrol, food and
drink, or for a rest and general ‘comfort stop’,” said
Mr Stephen.

Mr Nees said the site received a further
boost this year with the opening of the Huntly section of
the Waikato Expressway.

“This new route bypasses
Huntly town centre, which has historically provided
competing service amenity for Auckland-Hamilton traffic.
This has boosted demand for services at Mercer and led to a
significant lift in turnover for existing tenants,” said
Mr Nees

“With a generous landholding available at
the Mercer site, this new market opportunity adds to the
potential for a new owner to explore further development and
new tenancies for additional income.

“For example,
big-brand food outlets in Huntly, such as KFC, Domino’s
Pizza and Subway, are no longer ‘on the way’ for
through-motorists. These could present complementary future
tenancy options alongside the existing food offerings at
Mercer,” Mr Nees said.

Larger motorway service hubs
overseas often extended to mini supermarkets and bookshops,
games arcades and charging points for electric
vehicles.

Mr Smith said a large parcel of land of some
1,300 square metres beside the main car park on the western
side of the property offered ample space to develop new
service offerings.

“There is also potential to
upgrade site signage and branding to capitalise to the full
from the high-profile highway exposure,” Mr Smith
said.

The property at 16 Horace Russell Road is zoned
Commercial (8A) under Waikato District Council’s district
plan, allowing for a range of commercial
activities.

Neighbouring properties at Mercer present
a diverse offering, including a tavern and motel, along with
a craft cheese outlet, Mercer Adventure Jet, two rowing
clubs, a fire station and a showroom for ‘tiny
house’-maker Breezepod.

Mr Bayley said the Mercer
site for sale sat strategically almost exactly halfway
between Auckland and Hamilton, whose city centres lie
approximately 60 kilometres in each direction.

“It
is also less than 10 minutes’ drive from the booming
township of Pokeno, whose current population of around 2,000
is expected to triple to as much as 7,000 in the next 10 to
15 years,” said Mr Bayley.

“A host of new
businesses are choosing Pokeno for their next venture,
including a new dairy factory and a new supermarket coming
to the area
soon.”

© Scoop Media

 

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